Power should be restored to "essentially" all Sarasota-Manatee customers by Wednesday, two days ahead of the initial estimate of Friday.
Georgia Power reported more than 425,000 customers in the dark. "There were almost a million customers out Monday night; half of our residential customers were without power, from one end of the state to another".
"We have all seen the images of utter devastation from Irma, and the reports we're getting back from our colleagues already in Florida emphasize the need for more assistance in the region", said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy vice president of electric operations.
Florida Power & Light, the largest electric utility company in the state, estimated that more than 2.3 million of its 4.9 million customers were still without power Tuesday night. "Based upon our initial assessment, it would appear that the significant investments we've made in hardening our energy grid will allow for a quicker restoration". The death toll includes eight elderly patients who died after being exposed to sweltering heat inside a Miami-area nursing home left with little or no air conditioning after the hurricane struck. As of Wednesday afternoon, less than 150,000 customers remain without power in metro Atlanta and work continues to restore power to all impacted customers as quickly and safely as possible. He said the cellular systems simply get overwhelmed during a crisis; at the same time, consumers lose power and internet.
Meanwhile, recovery efforts from Irma continue across the state. For customers along FPL's western service territory, with the exception of areas affected by tornadoes, severe flooding, and other severe damage, power is expected to be restored by September 22. "Tropical Storm Irma brought six hours of 30 mph winds, with gusts of more than 60 mph, causing unprecedented damage and outages in every corner of the state", wrote a spokesperson.
There are approximately 360,000 Georgia Power customers now without power. "Thank you for your continued patience, and rest assured, we will get your power restored". All of Georgia Power's resources were held in the state prior to the storm and have remained in Georgia to lead the company's restoration effort.
"We understand how challenging it is to be without power, and we take our responsibility to our customers - our own families, friends and neighbors - seriously", said Silagy. At the peak after the storm, there were 7.8 million outages.
"That is a challenge we're facing", Kraft said. Never pull tree limbs off power lines yourself or enter areas with debris, downed trees or standing water as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage.